As expected, the Isis mobile payment system backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon has been launched in Austin and Salt Lake City today. There are currently nine handsets that are ready to roll with the NFC-enabled app, with another 11 on the way before 2013. Verizon has announced that the Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR MAXX HD will both be compatible this week. T-Mobile has announced that the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S Relay, and Galaxy S2 will be compatible with Isis. AT&T will also support the GS3, as well as the HTC One X, Exhilarate, LG Escape, and Rugby Pro. As far as credit cards go, American Express, Capital One, and Chase are supported, which might not be enough of a selection for most folks, but it's a start.
Meanwhile in Canada, Rogers is getting ready to launch their own mobile payment system based on NFC-enabled SIM cards, though it doesn't seem like they'll have the same device restrictions. Apparently we'll be able to pop that SIM into any Rogers phone and the service will work perfectly well once it's rolled out. Anyone interested in getting started with Isis apparently has to get a new SIM card too, though they won't work with rooted devices.
In any case, Isis will be competing directly with Google Wallet, which makes for some annoying repercussions. it seems like some carriers haven't been shy about blocking Google Wallet in favor of pushing Isis, but why wouldn't Google just kick Isis from the Play Store? One would assume that both sides have already talked the issue to death, but it's hard to see this kind of service not putting some friction between partners. How do you guys think the NFC payments situation will pan out between Google and carriers?
Any locals interested in signing up can check out the Isis home page.